Salamanders are amphibians, although they may look lizard-like in appearance. Salamander species vary in size from under 3cm to about 180cm in length. No matter what their size, they need to stick to moist or wet environments, or they will dehydrate.
Scientific name: Caudata
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
Salamanders are any of approximately 550 extant species of amphibians within the order Caudata. They are typically characterized by a superficially lizard-like appearance, with slender bodies, short noses, and long tails. All known fossil salamanders and all extinct species fall under the order Caudata, while sometimes the extant species are grouped together as the Urodela. Salamanders never have more than four toes on their front legs and five on their rear legs, but some species have fewer. Their moist skin usually makes them reliant on habitats in or near water, or under some protection (e.g., moist ground), often in a wetland. Some salamander species are fully aquatic throughout life, some take to the water intermittently, and some are entirely terrestrial as adults. Unique among vertebrates, they are capable of regenerating lost limbs, as well as other body parts. Many of the members of the family Salamandridae are known as newts.
The earliest known salamander fossils have been found in geological deposits of China and Kazakhstan, which have been dated to the middle Jurassic period, up to 164 million (plus or minus 4 million) years ago.
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